Wednesday, November 13, 2019

From the Vault: A 2009 Blog Flashback

Earlier this week I began thinking about what my blog posts were like back in 2009.  I know I wrote about my beloved Roughriders but the issue is that back then I wrote on a blogging platform that no longer exists in any form.  I briefly tried out another site which I didn't care for either and eventually landed on Blogger.  I tried to transfer the important things in an attempt to save what I thought were my good stories.  Today I found this from 2009 Training Camp and beyond entitled: The Tale of the Wes Cates Shirt.  Enjoy.

The thing about Wes Cates #20 is that he is a triple threat. He can carry the ball, he can catch the ball and he can block so his quarterback has time to throw the ball. His skill and versatility amazed me when he came to the Roughriders in 2007 from the Stampeders. But this isn’t really a story about the Columbus, Ohio native…..its about what has become known as “the Wes Cates shirt.”
I didn’t have anything to wear to Green and White Fan Day 2009. The only store that sold Roughrider merchandise back then was the hot tub place on the corner of Idylwyld and 22nd Street here in the City of Bridges. It was a Friday that I stopped there to make a purchase and stock was limited. I chose a green [naturally] shirt with the Rider logo on the front trimmed in black and white.
My first official Roughrider shirt. I was very proud.
Perhaps…..too proud.
The next morning I was getting ready and waiting for Hubby and going about my business. I was already clad in my brand-spanking-new-shirt when thirst struck. We had purchased a flat of pop that consisted of orange, grape, cream soda, and root beer. I bent over the package on the kitchen floor and used the scissors [clearly a mistake] to cut an opening in the plastic so that I could remove my desired flavour. Disaster struck. My scissors punctured a hole in one of the cans as I had tried to remove it and the soda sprayed all over my brand-new-official-never-before-worn Roughrider shirt.
I think I cried. I think I stomped around. I took off my beloved shirt and sponged off the front as best as I could and used the hair dryer to dry the spots. Hubby said he couldn’t see any visible spots. It was going to be okay.
Off we went to the Fan Day at Griffiths Stadium. Hubby was wearing his Andy Fantuz jersey but with the mob surrounding him…..we were never going to get an autograph. It was the
same story for Weston Dressler. This was Darian Durant’s first year as starting quarterback and he stood all alone. I approached him and asked for a picture. He quietly obliged. Next we got a picture with Gene Makowsky, who nearly had to crouch down to my 5'3” level. Then I stood in line to see Wes Cates. He was the only one to put his arm around me like we were old pals getting a picture taken. I was slightly smitten. From that point on this particular Roughrider shirt has been coined “my Wes Cates shirt.”
The tale doesn’t end there. For every time I wore my Wes Cates shirt the team performed well…..really well in fact. Then it came to my attention that if it met with an unfortunate accident, such as a spill, on game day we would in fact win. I’m not really superstitious but you can’t ignore occurrences like that!
Last fall when we played the Stampeders in the Western Final the shirt met with such an accident. The Stampeders were an exceptional team in the 2010 season. They were the team to beat. I wasn’t entirely sure we could do it and I have HUGE Rider faith. I don’t know what was on our menu for supper but I do recall that the salad dressing was almost empty so I had tipped it so all the dressing would pour when I was ready. Wouldn’t you know it? It burped extreme ranch dill dressing all over the front of my Wes Cates shirt. It was a giant globbed mess. The Riders went on to win in over time 20 – 16.
I wore the shirt for the first pre-season game this year but not the second.
The shirt does not lie.
This season (2010/2011?), Wes Cates’ position may be challenged by back-flipping Hugh Charles or newcomer Brandon West but no matter what…..come game day…..July 3rd I will be clad in my West Cates shirt to cheer my team, the green and white, on to victory and if I happen to spill a little something-something down the front…..well, we are all the better for it.
It's 2019 and I no longer have this shirt.  As with everybody and as time passes our bodies change and the washing machine becomes vengeful and shrinks out clothes.  I'm pretty sure I donated the shirt to the Salvation Army as I go through out closets a few times a year.  Someone somewhere has this shirt and it would only be fitting that they also have a beverage accident this Sunday November 17th when the Saskatchewan Roughriders take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Western Final for the first time since 1972...when I was merely 2 months old.  I was probably dribbling down my clothes then too.  * wink *

Monday, November 4, 2019

Sandra's WK21 CFL Power Grouping

Week 21.  If I didn't know better I'd swear the season just started however the cooler temps and skiff of snow on the ground (along with Christmas d├ęcor in all the stores) tells me different.  We have indeed reached the end of the regular CFL season.

Before we look at how the season ended let's flashback to Week 1 and what my power grouping looked like then.

Flashback to Week 1
Let's have a moment of silence for the Redblacks who were in the forefront of Monday morning news with the departure of Rick Campbell.  For weeks it's been speculated upon that he'd be making a move in the off season but I don't think anyone could predict that he'd take it upon himself to resign.  What truly is sad about the situation is that most fans firmly believe the Redblacks GM is to blame for how far the team fell this season.  Will there be repercussions?  Rick Campbell was guarded in his words and for the most part as I watched his press conference streamed on Twitter he was emotionally distraught about having to come to this decision.  Players and coaches bailing on the organization should be a huge wake up call.

Moving on.  Here is how the season finished.

How the season wrapped up
Saturday was another CFL triple header and while some football fans might enjoy planting themselves in front of the television for that long I do not.  I don't understand why the CFL or TSN bothers to get us all involved in Thursday night football only to abolish it once September hits OR to avoid Sunday's like the plague only to have all play off games AND the Grey Cup held on Sundays.  It's perplexing and for the casual fan it's probably a bit hard to follow.  I was en route to Regina and of course a return jubilant drive home ensued so I missed everything but the last play of the triple header.

Conversation about declining attendance is becoming an annoyance.  There was only 29,000 fans at Mosaic Stadium.  "ONLY".  Now it's being said that once the Roughriders secured first place in the west that the Western Final better be a sell out.  I'm a season ticket holder so by hell or high water (or a blizzard) I will be there but I don't blame anyone else who decides not to attend.  It's warmer at home, the bathroom is right there and snacks are just a trot to the fridge.  How people and fans consume entertainment of any kind has drastically changed in recent years and we shouldn't begrudge anyone for making a choice to support from afar.  

I also read a commentary from a fan complaining about the entertainment at the football games and saying there's a lack of halftime shows.  Isn't the football supposed to be the entertainment and all the other stuff is a plus?  Also there were several halftime concerts throughout this season and on Saturday at the Rider game someone won a brand new Cadillac.  It was fun watching that go down.  What other entertainment do we need?  Have our attention spans become so warped we can't even watch football now?

Put down your phone!  After you finish reading this...

So I think my "ranking" speaks for itself.  Hamilton has the best record in the league.  The Roughriders eked one out with a last minute pick 6 from Cameron Judge.  What do we have to do to get his dad to a game?  Winnipeg was on bye week so they just sat back watching and wondering who they are going to be playing next week in the West Semi Final.  The Edmonton Eskimos are crossing over to the East to visit the Montreal Alouettes who have had a heck of a season after Kavis was relieved.  Talk on ABC Rider Fans has been about who we'd rather play in the West Final and while that's up in the air we all agree we hope they annihilate each other before the Riders play either Winnipeg or Calgary.  Personally, I don't care for the Collaros versus Fajardo storyline and would far rather we play the Stampeders.  Only time will tell how that all plays out.  One thing is for certain, it's possibly now viewed as the single thing that changed the Roughriders season for the better...Zach Collaros being injured 3 plays in to Game 1.  I don't mean that maliciously at all, but because of that Cody Fajardo emerged as a leader and fan favourite eating corndogs and creating a belief system with his Sprinkles of Jesus that the club and fans haven't felt for years.

I don't do post season rankings so this will be the last one from me but you can certainly look forward to other posts following the playoffs and off season.  This Rider fan isn't planning on the off season coming soon.